Tuesday, March 10, 2009

People in my Pocket

My freshman year, I took a creative writing class. In case it's not common knowledge, I am an English major with an emphasis in creative writing so I could better understand the writing process, which would make me an even better editor--my ultimate dream job (I mean really, what's better than being critical of creative people to make their stuff better?). The class was focused on poetry, which I wasn't aware of when I signed up, otherwise I would've bolted. I'm not a big poetry buff, fan, enthusiast, or anything else. However, to my great annoyance, my prof at the time was very energetic about it.

She is a small, adorable, formidable, brilliant Asian woman who loves Jesus with the entirety of her 5'1 body. Not only is she so encouraging and bubbly, but she never has a bad thing to say about anyone. This isn't the best thing, considering that some creative people need less encouragement and more criticism (see Lori Wick, who proliferates the Christian book shelves with her predictable, super-structured mess of PG-rated romance). That being said, when it was my turn to workshop some poetry I had worked on for about three weeks, she was tickled.

"It reminds me of Emily Dickinson--do you read her much?" she wrote on my stack of paper. When she compared me to an author I wasn't altogether familiar with, I knew Dr. Lee was giving me a great, unfiltered compliment. I also knew it was spectacular because she wrote it down and didn't mention it in class--and she always went over the notes she had in class.

Today in my American Diversity class, we were talking about this book Like Never Before and there is a poem by Emily Dickinson at the beginning:

Those--dying then,
Knew where they went--
They went to God's Right Hand--
That Hand is amputated now
And God cannot be found--

The abdication of Belief
Makes the Behavior small--
Better an ignus fatuus
Than no illume at all--


I don't know if this is the whole thing or what, but the discussion about the poem as a precursor to the novel ignited in me a desire to continue reading this collection of Dickinson poetry I bought a year ago that was on sale for $5 and work on some poetry myself.

To be honest, I want to write more. Not to say I think I could make a living on it, but I want to write things that I am uncomfortable writing--plays, poems, screenplays.

A few entries ago, I mentioned how I was revising some pages I had written for a manuscript I have to finish by the end of the semester. I've got two chapters, at 10 pages total. I need 40 more.

That has no connection with this post. I'm going to work more on appreciating poetry. Here is one that was submitted for Synecdoche and it was accepted, but all the same, I love poetry by Aaron Abubo:

Thoughts on Marriage

I am proved by sacrifice.
I am proved by action
by the sutures plunged
into your side as into mine.
If there was any question
it’s been squelched by the
contents
of this room: On the table,
scraps of flesh. On the floor,
pools of blood
skin, stitches, proof that
love not only lives, but
thrives here, as if here
it took that first wet breath
learned firsthand what
love can be. As if it
could see intestines
intertwined, our systems
combined, the stuff of
two bodies stretched
to fill just one. As if it
were enough to simply
see. As if it were enough
to simply be.

2 comments:

the CoR said...

Not too familiar with Emily Dickinson. Oy oy oy. The New Englander in me is offended. ;o)

Aaron Abubo does write great stuff.

What's this book you're publishing (referencing your next entry, not this one)

ConglomerateBeauty said...

It's just Synecdoche. I wish I was cool enough to have something I wrote be published (kind of not), but it's a lot of work, even with my super delegating prowess.

And believe me, the English major in me is offended I'm not familiar with a lot of the Greats.